FPA Honors UCLA Professor Emeritus Francis F. Chen

November 18, 2019

Francis F. Chen, Professor Emeritus, Electrical Engineering Department, UCLA, will be honored by Fusion Power Associates Board of Directors with a Special FPA Distinguished Career Award. Frank is a pioneer of the U.S. fusion program, having begun his career in 1954 at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. He celebrates his 90th birthday on November 18.

Frank was born November 18, 1929 in Guandong Province, China. He received his doctorate in physics from Harvard in 1954 and then joined the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) where he worked on the early (Model B1) stellarator. He left PPPL in 1969 to become a professor at UCLA, where he remained until his retirement in 1994. He received the American Physical Society (APS) James Clerk Maxwell Prize in 1995.

In 1974 he published one of the early textbooks, "Introduction to Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion", a second edition in 1984 and the third edition in 2011. In 2016 he published "An Indispensable Truth: How Fusion Power Can Save the Planet" that puts fusion in context with current concerns on climate change.

He is a Fellow of both the American Physical Society and the IEEE, has published over 240 scientific papers, and mentored many students. During his career he has also served as Chair of the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) Fusion Advisory Committee (1972-1977), Chair of the APS Division of Plasma Physics (1983), and Chair of the U.S. Navy's Naval Studies Board Panel on Plasma Processing (1993-1994).

He joined Fusion Power Associates as an Individual Affiliate shortly after its inception in 1979.

Colleagues can send congratulations and wish Frank a Happy Birthday at ffchen@ee.ucla.edu

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